about my life changed the first time I experienced insulin shock.
was during one of these visits as I
was browsing in the
Science Fiction book
section of a department store when I became strangely
fascinated, with the covers. The
illustrations, or parts of them, seemed to come alive.
I started having a strange feeling that came on suddenly, I had difficulty
understanding where I was,
I began to hear voices, all around me,
they were muffled, as though
coming from behind an invisible wall of cotton.
I tried to concentrate on the voices but as hard as I could I found it
difficult to even think. Everything
in reality went out of proportion time slowed, or did everything speed
up? The world began to blur, I felt in a chilling way that the life-force
within me was rapidly becoming depleted I felt like I was drowning but
I didn't know how to stop what was happening to me. Then
reality itself changed
from a flow of continuity
into a series of impressions
or "snapshots" with a sharp blank gaps
of nothingness between them.
My hands began to shake uncontrollably and it took all of my energy to
keep my eyes from rolling up into my head and away from the world.
There was nothing I could do to stop them. I felt
I was experiencing the end of my life,
m y next impression was of falling
through a deep,deep void. Then I stopped,
Next I was standing in a perfect version of my adult body, I was surrounded by stars and galaxies, in the center of this was a shaft of glowing white light, I went over to it, held it, it was like a glowing sword, I looked in to it and the face of God and experienced the sensation of overwhelming goodness and light.
The next thing I knew was that I was eight years old again, lying on the cool hard floor of the department store, with the sweet taste of orange juice in my mouth and my mother and the department store the physician, looking over me.
The experience felt as though God himself, had hit me in the back of the head and shouted WAKE UP! From then on I knew I could never again take anything in my life, and especially my life for granted.
My paperback "manual for Diabetes" had never prepared me for anything as intense as this, Everything in my life had changed. I had experienced the sensation my own life suddenly pulled away from under my feet and replaced by something even greater, and just as mysterious.
I felt that I was alive for a reason, just as I knew that each time I felt some strange feeling in my growing body that it could be a precursor to something very dangerous. I would continue to take my injections, (three a day) on schedule, have meals according to the diet plan given to us by my doctor and go to school, yet despite the sensation of being surrounded by a calm atmosphere of normalcy, still I was aware that there was something about me that was very different from other people, and there was nothing that my parents or anyone else could do about it.
One day when I had come home from school for lunch, my father, not my mother was there, he had me sit down on my bed and told me that my mother had just been taken to the hospital and that he didn't have enough money to pay all the bills especially for all my medicine and doctoring and that he was going to write a letter to Boys Town, a local orphanage and I would have to go on from there.
Fortunately my mothers condition wasn't as bad as was first thought, and
me having to leave home never happened.School
had become a difficult, since my insulin dosages were based on my usual
morning high blood sugar levels. I had much more "long acting"
insulin than I needed, causing
my blood sugar levels to suddenly drop after the smallest
the physical effort.
carried candy bars or sugar cubes with me like religious relics all in
preparation for the blood sugar lows which I experienced several times
a day. I would sometime
become dumbly obsessed, thinking the same things over, and over again,
once my mother found me pouring milk into the stereo, as though I was
trying to feed my self by feeding the music.
I had begun to put on extra weight, the reason I now know was because I was taking in extra calories to recover from my insulin lows, and eating to maintain a schedule and diet rather than feeding my natural appetite. I began to feel ashamed of my bulging waistline, just I had begun to experience periods of depression and despair. For what was supposed to be the best years of our lives, most of the people my age were having a great time. For me however it was the first instance of how it felt to hit a barrier that you could not see or reason with, and I that I lacked the experience or understanding of how deal with it.
I look back now, and realize, how difficult it is for a young person,
to face the unknown, especially when it carried with it the possibility
of their own mortality, without first understanding life, their place
in it, and who they are.
my parents had let me take my own injections, I learned to take a bit
less insulin than my doctor's had prescribed, but I was having fewer "shaky
spells", and therefore felt more confident about myself and my ability
to be on my own.
I began to use my free time to exercise, hiking, bike riding, aerobics, anything that was noncompetitive. I listen to music while doing this making my own cassette tapes from records, I felt good when I was active and felt better about my looks having put on a few muscles in the process.